Gwinnett Coalition Announces New Executive Director

The Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services recently announced that Renee Byrd-Lewis has been named the new executive director. Byrd-Lewis will assume her new role on October 19, 2020. Current Executive Director Ellen Gerstein will transition to a support role and assist Byrd-Lewis until December 31, 2020.

“After an extensive search process that yielded qualified candidates from all over the United States, the Gwinnett Coalition’s board of directors narrowed the pool to a select group of professionals. Out of that group, Renee Byrd-Lewis’s experience, vision and heart for Gwinnett, past successes, and exceptional leadership and interpersonal skills made her our top choice,” said Chuck Warbington, Gwinnett Coalition board chair and Lawrenceville City Manager. “We look forward to working with her to continue building on Ellen Gerstein’s legacy and helping accelerate the Coalition’s efforts to serve our growing community.”

Byrd-Lewis has a long history of both career and community accomplishments in Gwinnett.

“As a proud, long-time resident of Gwinnett County, I am honored to have the opportunity to build upon the Gwinnett Coalition’s history of success, and I look forward to leveraging my professional and community development experience to advance sustainable and systemic change on key issues,” said Renee Byrd-Lewis.

“The Coalition’s vision is a community where all residents have the opportunity to thrive. The board’s new strategic plan prioritizes increasing cross-sector coordination, aligning resources, and measuring impact to create large-scale social change. I’m excited to lean into this work and collaborate with community leaders and local organizations to drive positive impact throughout Gwinnett County.”

Byrd-Lewis’s experience includes leading community relations and corporate engagement strategies at Scientific Atlanta for eight years both before, during and after its merger with Cisco Systems. She then moved to Georgia Gwinnett College where she served as vice president of advancement before becoming vice president of strategic communications and positioning. During her time there she helped the college become the number one most ethnically diverse southern regional college, led marketing and communications efforts that contributed to a 31 percent enrollment increase, oversaw the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation and related assets of $179 million, and increased fundraising efforts. Most recently Byrd-Lewis has served as senior counsel for POWER 10, where she provided strategic counsel and hands-on tactical support to nonprofits seeking to increase resources to accomplish their organizational goals.

A graduate of Emory University where she earned an associates and bachelor’s degrees, Byrd-Lewis also has a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She currently serves as board chair of the Leadership Gwinnett Foundation and a board member of the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Advisory Board. She has served on multiple other boards throughout the years and won the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Public Service Award, the Gwinnett Coalition’s Thomas James Corporate Involvement Award, United Way Women’s Legacy Award and numerous other awards. She and her husband reside in Buford with their two sons.